Book roundup: David Runciman, Øystein Sørensen, Joe Scalzi

David Runciman - Political Hypocrisy

David Runciman – Political Hypocrisy (2008)

Hypocrisy, or mask-wearing, comes in many shades, and not only can some of them, (such as politeness and pseudonymity), be beneficial to society, anti-hypocrisy can do more harm than good. Honest anti-hypocrites can be dangerously ignorant about the nature of the game they want to “clean up”, and dishonest anti-hypocrites represent an even deeper level of hypocrisy than the form they attack. In politics, you’re better off with a competent and well-meaning hypocrite than with someone who gives the appearance of perfect integrity. Even democracy itself is essentially the idea of humanizing power by dressing it up in masks.

Recommended: Strongly, but not for everyone.  Read it if you like Orwell’s writings on language and thought, (which are referenced in the most interesting chapter of the book). Longer summary of this book coming up.

Øystein Sørensen – Drømmen om det fullkomne samfunn (2010)

Communism, fascism, nazism and islamism are four variations over the same theme of totalitarian utopianism.

Read: 45 pages.

Recommended: Only if this similarity is somehow news to you, and not really even then. This is an introductory book, written in a bored academic style.

Joe Scalzi – Zoe’s Tale (2008)

It’s time to have the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk with Joe Scalzi. I’m sure this is as good as his previous yarns, but I can’t be bothered to read it. Farewell, let’s be friends, and we’ll always have Frankfurt etc etc.

Read: 60 pages.

Recommended: Possibly. Lots of people like it. Good for them!

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